Jack Canfield Jack Canfield author. speaker. motivator.

Affectionately known as "America's #1 Success Coach," Jack Canfield is the originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a leading authority in the areas of self-esteem, achievement motivation, and peak performance. [www.jackcanfield.com]

 
Arianna Huffington Arianna Huffington political powerhouse. media mogul. author.

Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post and the author of twelve books. [www.huffingtonpost.com]

 
Seth Godin Seth Godin author. speaker. linchpin.

Seth Godin is a prominent author, blogger and speaker. [www.squidoo.com/linchpin]

 
Krishna Kaur Krishna Kaur yogi. philanthropist. dynamic teacher.

Krishna Kaur is the founder of YOGA for Youth, a program that takes yoga, meditation, and stimulating discussions on the philosophy of yoga to urban youth. [www.yogaforyouth.org]

 
Norman Lear Norman Lear producer. philanthropist. tv legend.

Norman Lear has enjoyed a long career in television and film. He is also a political and social activist and philanthropist. [www.normanlear.com]

 
Leilani Münter Leilani Münter race car driver. activist. carbon free girl.

Leilani Münter is a professional race car driver and an environmental activist who uses her voice in the number one spectator sport in America as a catalyst for change. [www.leilanimunter.com]

 
Kevin Bales Kevin Bales Freedom Fighter. Philanthropist. Game Changer.

By going undercover to meet slaves and slaveholders, Kevin Bales exposed modern slavery's penetration into the global economy. He co-founded Free the Slaves, which has helped to liberate thousands of slaves. [www.freetheslaves.net]

 
Sophie Chiche Sophie Chiche mom. big dreamer. lady in red.

Sophie Chiche, lifebyme.com founder and curator, enjoys asking deep questions and living a life of meaning. Today she's launching Shape House, an urban sweat lodge, a place to melt away fears and fat. [www.shapehousela.com]

 
Mastin Kipp Mastin Kipp Writer. Entrepreneur. Daily Lover.

Entrepreneur and writer Mastin Kipp founded TheDailyLove.com, which merges pop culture with inspiration, and co-founded The Love Yourself Company, an apparel company that has started a global self-esteem movement. [www.TheDailyLove.com]

 
Liz Phair Liz Phair singer. musician. crier.

Liz Phair is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. [www.lizphair.com]

 
Desmond Tutu Desmond Tutu archbishop. author. peaceful leader.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu is Chairman of The Elders, a group of world leaders who address some of the world's most pressing problems. He works energetically for human-rights and in his ministry. [www.tutu.org]

 
Zainab Salbi Zainab Salbi author. ceo. humanitarian.

Zainab Salbi is the founder and CEO of Women for Women International, a group dedicated to helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives. [www.womenforwomen.org]

 
Sean Stephenson Sean Stephenson speaker. psychotherapist. life embracer.

Despite his physical challenges, Sean Stephenson has taken a stand for a quality of life that has inspired millions of people around the world. He's a professional speaker, psychotherapist, and author. [www.timetostand.com]

 
Kia Miller Kia Miller yogi. meditator. teacher.

Kia Miller teaches Yoga at Yoga Works in Los Angeles, leads teacher trainings, and runs retreats and workshops on meditation, chakras, pranayam, and mantras, and other practices. [www.kiamiller.com]

 
Simon Mainwaring Simon Mainwaring creator. writer. idea geek.

Simon Mainwaring is an ex-Nike/Wieden creative, former Worldwide Creative Director at Motorola/Ogilvy, branding/advertising writer, author/speaker/blogger, Australian, idea geek. [www.simonmainwaring.com]

 
Shannon Bindler Shannon Bindler Strategist. Writer. Life Coach.

Shannon Bindler is a style editor, life coach, and the co-founder of Get Up Girl, an empowerment company that inspires women to shine. [www.getupgirl.com]

 
Mathieu Bitton Mathieu Bitton Designer. Art Director. Passionate Creator.

Grammy-nominated art director/designer/photographer Mathieu Bitton has designed over 450 CDs and movie posters. He's a renowned collector of and authority on black films and their soundtracks. [www.candytangerine.com]

 
Jorge Perez Jorge Perez Agent. Producer. Photography Enthusiast.

Opus Reps founder and agent-producer Jorge Perez travels the world producing photo shoots with great photographers and celebrities. He's also very involved with Meals on Wheels in Los Angeles. www.opusreps.com

 

courage

Kate Swoboda Kate Swoboda fear whisperer. life coach. individuality embracer.

Kate Swoboda, a.k.a. Kate Courageous, is a life coach, speaker, and writer who helps clients lead unconventional and revolutionary lives by practicing courage. She created the Courageous Play and Create Stillness retreats. [www.yourcourageouslife.com]

Recently, someone asked me about living with courage.

“How do you work with fear?” they asked, then another variation: “How do you handle XYZ? and ABC? But what about…?”

After answering a few of those questions, I noticed that my answers kept prompting another question: “Well, okay, so how do you do that?”

In that moment, I realized that I was getting caught in the trap of “how-to.”

Brene Brown, a researcher who studies shame, talks about this in her book The Gifts of Imperfection. We get caught in how-to, perpetually trying to figure out steps to happiness rather than looking at something more critical: What gets in the way of feeling happy?

So, how do I work with fear? My answer is devoid of concrete steps. I get present to it. I accept it. I work on not resisting it or hating it. I ask what stories are behind the fear. I take action despite feeling fear. I practice gentleness along the way.

If someone asked me, “So how can I accept fear? Or look at the stories? Or take action even though I’m terrified?” my response would be appropriately ambiguous. It’s a highly individual process.

The attainment of wisdom and fulfillment is something our society tries to concretize. We want to make it into a series of steps, when wisdom is beyond that. Try to avoid pain with 1-2-3-step plans? Paradoxically, we suffer more that way. The avoidance of pain is a kind of pain itself.

“Wait, so you’re saying to just accept things as they are?”

Yes. Acceptance over resistance. There’s always fear as we stretch into what is unfamiliar. The more you become comfortable with uncertainty, the less bumpy the ride will be, and that’s not some kind of esoteric hogwash.

But it’s also not all of the answer. When we aren’t putting energy into avoiding suffering, more energy is freed up to take positive action towards creating what we do want: social justice, compassion, inner stillness, radical acts of love.

– Kate Swoboda

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